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Why Churches Should Celebrate Declining Numbers

Rev. Michael Mather & DeAmon “The Roving Listener” Harges

(Click here to jump right to Episode 26 of the RePLACING CHURCH Podcast with DeAmon Harges and Mike Mather)

At over 3000 members, Broadway United Methodist Church was the largest church in the state of Indiana.

More than 250 kids showed up each year for the church’s thriving summer camp in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Mapleton Fall Creek.

Then, within a short span of nine months, 9 men under […]

By |2018-06-25T07:39:29-07:00June 9th, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Why Churches Should Celebrate Declining Numbers

Lessons from a Legacy of Community Development: A Conversation with Reesheda Graham-Washington

(To jump right to Episode 22 of the RePLACING CHURCH Podcast with Reesheda Graham-Washington, visit iTunes, Google Play or Podbean!)

Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

These lines appear in an ancient poem that opens the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, but they might as well serve as a preface for […]

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00May 16th, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Lessons from a Legacy of Community Development: A Conversation with Reesheda Graham-Washington

The Myth of the Limitless Pastor: A Conversation with Mandy Smith

(To jump right to the RePLACING CHURCH Podcast conversation with Mandy Smith, visit iTunes or Podbean!)

In the 2011 film Limitless (which has since become a CBS show), author Eddie Mora (Bradley Cooper) has a bad case of writer’s block. So money is tight and his girlfriend dumps him. Eddie’s struggle is, in fact, against flesh and blood — against his own humanity and its limitations

But then he swallows the pill… NZT-48, to […]

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00May 9th, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Myth of the Limitless Pastor: A Conversation with Mandy Smith

From Tactics & Techniques to the Table: A Conversation with Alan Roxburgh

Alan Roxburgh has spent over 30 years in church leadership as a pastor, teacher, writer and consultant. He leads The Missional Network, an organization that consults denominations, congregations and seminaries around the world in the areas of leadership, systems and change. He has written numerous books, including most recently, Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World: The New Shape of the Church in Our Time.

Alan recently joined me on the

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00May 2nd, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on From Tactics & Techniques to the Table: A Conversation with Alan Roxburgh

Shane Claiborne Still Does the Dishes

(To jump right to the RePLACING CHURCH Podcast conversation with Shane Claiborne, visit iTunes or Podbean!)

In his classic book, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, Shane Claiborne, reflecting on the vast difference between visions of community and social change, and the actual work and practices that these things entail, shares a quote that he came across in a community he once visited:

“Everybody wants a revolution, but nobody wants […]

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00April 24th, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Shane Claiborne Still Does the Dishes

3 Practices for Earth Day Rookies & Their Churches

“What are you doing in your neighborhood for Earth Day?” my friend, who is the Executive Director of a nonprofit focused on contemplative activism, asked the group of church leaders.

Once again I was reminded that I’m not very good at facilitating group observance of these types of days, much less finding ways to participate myself!

Do I go to a rally?

Do I retweet a thoughtful article?

Or maybe just share that really cool meme?

Yeah, share the meme…

Notice […]

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00April 22nd, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on 3 Practices for Earth Day Rookies & Their Churches

Falling Into Place

An increasing number of Jesus followers are feeling compelled to join God’s renewal in the neighborhood. Many of us are landing in the neighborhood because we are captivated by Jeremiah’s prophetic call for God’s people to “build houses and settle down; plant gardens… and seek the peace and prosperity” of the neighborhood, guided by the localized nature of Jesus’ life and ministry, and inspired by the stories of neighborhood […]

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00April 18th, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Falling Into Place

We Are the Seers. We Are the Seen.

Jesus had this incredible ability to see people at a level beyond the physical — at a deep, soul level.

Peter.

Zacchaeus.

The woman “who loved much” and anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

Jesus was a true Seer of the glory and giftedness of each person, and all they ways they give their energies to join in God’s renewal of all things.

I think that this seeing — this acknowledging and naming and encouraging and expressing gratitude — is a lost art that the church desperately needs […]

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00April 13th, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on We Are the Seers. We Are the Seen.

Centering on Christ in the Neighborhood

In episode 13 of the RePLACING CHURCH Podcast I reflect on what it means to be Centering on Christ in the neighborhood:

To be Centering on Christ means we remain awake to the divine conversation that is happening in our neighborhood every day.

The main talking point of the conversation is the life-death-resurrection of Jesus, and we all show up to the conversation with different accents-contemplative, social justice, holiness, evangelical, charismatic, and incarnation (to borrow from […]

By |2017-01-26T08:40:36-08:00April 8th, 2016|Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Centering on Christ in the Neighborhood